I slept so good last night! I really needed that. It's very rare that I sleep through the night without waking up five or six times. I had a bunch of weird dreams, and when I woke up this morning, I was totally confused for a minute.
I was kind of excited to use the AquaJogger for the first time today. It feels like I haven't run in MONTHS, but it's actually only been 11 days. I keep feeling this pit in my stomach, thinking that I'll never get to run again. I've been resting as much as possible, and have probably only gotten 4,000 steps per day max. It's like I can feel my muscles wasting away (dramatic, yes). I can't do squats or lunges or anything like that, because it bothers my ankle, so I haven't done any cross-training since I've been injured. But I'm really determined to get my ankle back to normal before I start marathon training.
And of course, I miss earning activity PointsPlus! I was used to earning about 50 PP per week from exercise, and cutting back on that much food is hard. So the deep water running will help me to earn some of those points.
Anyway, I've been reading so many great things about deep water running--people have used that to continue training for important races, and have done well (even setting PRs) in their races. So, I am hopeful that if I use this as a training method, I won't have such a hard time going back to running on ground when my ankle is better. I'm still going to ease back into running; I just hope the transition is easier. Here is the backstory to the AquaJogger:
After I got the kids off to school, I got ready to head to the pool. One of the reasons I really dislike swimming is because of all the stuff it requires--bathing suit, towel, change of clothes, hair brush (I always forget this, and then my hair is in a huge knot), lock for the locker, etc. But maybe if I start packing it the night before, I won't feel so rushed in the mornings.
I had to renew my membership at the rec center, so I'm good for another year--someone please hold me accountable to getting my money's worth this year! ;) I changed into my bathing suit, and brought the AquaJogger belt out to the pool with me. I was really nervous to give it a try, because I thought that the lifeguard would surely know if my form was all wrong or something. I had tried doing deep water running without a belt before, just for the heck of it, but it was really difficult to stay upright. So I hoped the belt would help.
There were a few people in the swimming lanes, so I was glad I wasn't the only one in the pool! I put on the belt and quickly got into the deep end of the pool. I just tried to focus on my form and then started "running" in the water. I read the workout guide book that came with the belt, and it gave some tips on form, so I was trying to make sure that I was doing that correctly.
Surprisingly, it actually felt pretty natural! It was much easier than I imagined it to be. It was easier to focus on my arms, and as long as I was doing the arm motion correctly, my legs did a natural running motion. It felt kind of like running in place, only I wasn't touching the ground. I wasn't really expecting to move forward, but as I ran in place, my body just kept inching forward.
The thing I was most surprised about was that the time flew by! I discovered that it took roughly one minute to cross the deep end of the pool; so I just kept "running" across, and then turning around and running back. I was planning to do 30 minutes, but I liked it enough that I wanted to go longer.
The hard part was seeing the people above me run on the track. I saw my friend Alicia running, so I waved to her. From the pool, it's very easy to see one end of the track, so I kept watching the people run by as I ran in place. I wanted to be up there running so badly! But I really did enjoy the deep water running.
It was a REALLY good workout, too. Occasionally, I would run hard for a minute or two, and then slow down (intervals, basically), and my legs felt so tired after the hard intervals. Another bonus to running in the water is that I wasn't dripping with sweat--the water kept me cool, which was nice. I had pulled my hair into a high bun, so it didn't even get wet (yay) and I just had to rinse off when I was done (I had taken a shower when I woke up, and I really didn't want to have to re-shower). So even though it was a little bit of a hassle to pack a bag to go to the pool, it made up for it in that I didn't have to come home and shower (again).
I was really surprised to see that Weight Watchers actually lists "water jogging" as an exercise. I had done 45 minutes, which gave me 8 PointsPlus! That's the same as if I had run outside. I don't know if I really feel I deserve that many, so I may try to just eat half of them, but it's nice to see those activity points.
I have to say, I think using this AquaJogger belt would be awesome exercise for ANYONE--not just runners. The book shows different exercises you can do, but for anyone looking to exercise, it's a good workout without any impact. By wearing the belt, you are basically suspended in the water up to your neck. The floatation part is on the small of your back, so it doesn't impede movement at all (like a lifejacket would). I only used it for 45 minutes today, but already, I highly recommend it!
Anyway, the first day of deep water running was a big success! I'm actually really looking forward to going again. I leave for Phoenix tomorrow morning and don't come home until Monday, so I'm not sure how much I'll be posting over the weekend, if at all. Hope you all have a great weekend!